Follow
Share

Mom was told by a dentist that her top front teeth need to be crowned, with some root canals possible, due to a chip on one tooth and some decay on all the others. The price tag would be $6K+. I could not imagine putting Mom through all of that if there may be an alternative, so I got my dentist to see my Mom and give us a second opinion. He says that since her teeth are not bothering her, the least invasive approach at her age would be to just keep patching and filling, which makes sense to me. The price to do the essential repairs is $600. I'm inclined to just go with the latter approach especially given the price difference. First dentist has said that he will not agree to do that, and will only treat her if we follow his plan. Anyone ever deal with a situation like this? Such wide opinions? Mom is in decent health, has Parkinson's and mobility issues, enlarged heart and heart murmur, but is mentally sharp. She does not want the crowns. Am I missing anything here? Any reason to go ahead and do all those crowns?

Just a money saving tip. If you mom doesn't have dental insurance, sign up for a dental savings plan. There is no waiting period. You can literally sign up at home, drive to a dentist and use it. It will save a lot of money compared to not having one. You can also check the prices of procedures online.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to needtowashhair
Report

Professionals DO NOT all have integrity. That is the sad truth.

My husband and I personally went to 30 different dentists to find one that would not want to do unnecessary expensive dental work. I had one ruin an existing crown and wanted to charge me 3600.00 to fix it. What?

Use your dentist and good sense, as well as your moms desire to not have it done to make your decision.

Just read where this unethical dentist fired you because you got a second opinion. That is a HUGE RED FLAG, that he is obviously not treating his patients based on their needs but on his money grubbing unethical desires.

I would report him and hopefully help those elders that don't have an advocate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

I don't see the point to the crowns at her age. I would go with the conservative approach.

Dentist are only people. Their opinions are only that. You can show the same x-ray to 10 dentists and get 10 different opinions. I have teeth that dentists have told me needed to have the fillings redone for over 20 years. Never did. Those teeth still don't have problems. I recently saw a dentist for the first time in years because I broke a molar. In addition to fixing the molar, she said I would need 5 other teeth fixed by having the fillings redone. I just had her crown the molar and went to another dentist for a second opinion on the other teeth. The second dentist didn't think those teeth needed anything done.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to needtowashhair
Report

Wonder why doctors and dentists think we patients should be with them exclusively for life? So many of them are all about money (I know; they've gotten me before I caught on); that I shop around when I need something done. Found a chiropractor that took two xrays I needed when I had fallen and only charged $40, no charge for an office visit. As far as I'm concerned they're like any other retailer. I've learned a lot of their tricks, and those of hospitals and EMS companies from some friends who are EMTs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to mally1
Report

IT WILL BE TOO STRESSFUL FOR HER. LEAST INVASIVE THE BETTER. and get those sponges on a stick to brush/wash her teeth. Find them in the medical supply stores.

My mom in her mid 70's when her dentist retired, and this quack just got out of college thought and actually did take advantage of his elderly patients. He put Venures on her back teeth? Seriously? He would have her come in, and start the venure on the opposite side of mouth. She got home one day while I was there, she started crying. She said her mouth is falling apart :( I called my dentist, and took her immediately to see him. I also went to see the the "newbee" dentist. Small guy, and I am tall, so I found my tallest shoes to talk with him. I told him it was ridiculous to put her in so much stress. He looked up at me and agreed. And he had a whole office full of old folks waiting. He wasn't there yet, he was playing GOLF!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report
MomcareFL Mar 10, 2019
Thank you, MAYDAY, for your input. Your poor Mom---what an awful experience for her and for you. This dentist who proposed the 6 crowns + possible root canals is no spring chicken and is extremely reputable and well-rated; I think maybe the guys is just such a perfectionist that he has no common sense. Dentistry needs to be age-appropriate in terms of procedures and materials, and this guy obviously can't stand the idea of anything less than perfect teeth. I felt kind of sorry for him. He basically fired us as patients when he learned we went to my dentist. Told us not to come back. (Fine with us obviously!)
(2)
Report
Your dentist has the reasonable plan given the circumstances, and your mom's dentist is not considering her best interests. I say she should make that her *former* dentist and transfer her care to your dentist.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Jbean1
Report
MomcareFL Mar 10, 2019
Thank you, Jbean. Yes we have finished with that dentist and are using my dentist now. It's a longer drive but worth it just to have common sense shown.
(3)
Report
My mother's dentist recommended just patching as long as she had no pain, and simple extractions if there was pain. He said it was silly to spend thousands on a procedure that made no difference to her quality of life at 96.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to realtime
Report
MomcareFL Mar 10, 2019
Thank you for your response. Yes this is the approach we are taking at this point. I'm just amazed this dentist (who has a stellar reputation and education; won awards, etc. - in his late 50s) would even suggest 6 crowns at this stage. Common sense should prevail. And then he was insulted that we opted not to use his services.
(1)
Report
Thanks everyone, for more input. I appreciate it. Yes, I just don't get the dogged insistence that 6 crowns is the way to go. We won't be seeing him again, and he was ticked that we got the 2nd opinion.

The cost of all dental work, hearing aids, etc. is so crazy these days. When I hear prices quoted for my mom for anything, I immediately calculate how many HHA hours that would be. You have to choose your battles. WorriedinCali I agree about the longevity aspect. It has to be considered.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MomcareFL
Report

I would go with patching.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

I am going through the same thing with my mother and hearing aids. She is on her second set and they are very costly ($6-8000). The first set never worked well despite constant adjustments and now her second set doesn't either. She is 83 with dementia and not in the best of health. She constantly misplaced the first set - one time actually running them through the washer in a sweater pocket - and finally lost them altogether while we were moving her from my house to her memory care facility. Replacement wasn't covered by her insurance. I wonder if the type of hearing loss she has can't be corrected by hearing aids and both hearing centers just scammed her. The facility where she lives wants us to look into yet another pair and I don't think it's worth the cost. She actually seems to hear better without them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lablover64
Report
JoAnn29 Jan 22, 2019
I would say its not the aides its Mom. Hearing aides are good for amplification but can't correct if you can't distinguish words even with the volume louder. My husband has this problem because of nerve and bone damage. Dementia causes problems when it reaches the part of the brain that controls hearing and sight. I would not invest anymore money in hearing aides.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
No way would I put my mom who is 93 through that. You’re making the right choice to patch and fill.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

I agree about not putting her though the pain and the whole ordeal of it all. I just can’t see how it is ethical to even suggest $6000 worth of work on someone who is 96 years old! That is A LOT of money to spend on 96 year old teeth and I mean.....I don’t know to say this in a kind and gentle way but at 96, how many more years does she have left? A lot of years left, I hope, if she’s in good health but realistically? Shes 96z Probably not enough years left to justify spending $6k. I could see spending $6k if you have a lot of years left but....at 96? It seems like a money grab to me! And unethical!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

Glad you got a second opinion. I would probably go with the dentist that offered the patch and fill mostly due to the fact her teeth are not bothering her. Sometimes crowns and root canals can cause problems that otherwise would not have occurred, tooth sensitivity, additional procedures, etc. Also, something just seems odd when a dentist or doctor pushes only one option.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to GingerMay
Report

I visited the orth dentist for a tooth that had been pushed into another. I asked if he could fix it. This was my daughter's dentist who put on her braces.

when he came back - he told me he could break my jaw and straighten all my teeth. ????? I have buck teeth in the front. I asked about just doing that one tooth. He refused saying it would not stay back. so it was all or nothing. I left and had nothing done
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to RitaDenise
Report

Thank you both for responding so quickly. Yes, I agree with you both... why put someone that age through that if they are not experiencing pain? And even then maybe a filling would do? The first doctor said something about the patch and fill approach being "wrong". Heavy sigh. He's no spring chicken, and I can't imagine him recommending 6 crowns to his own mother. Probably just an ego thing. Yes, we will stick with patch and fill. No money tree here anyway. You know what I mean?!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MomcareFL
Report
mally1 Mar 10, 2019
Not an "ego" thing; a "money" thing....
(0)
Report
I like your dentist, IMO expensive repairs at her age are ludicrous. My mom avoided the dentist for decades and unfortunately needed to have most of her remaining teeth extracted at age 90. The six remaining, though very fragile, were preserved to hold a partial denture and didn't cause her any difficulty or pain, although she did lose one sometime in her last 6 months of life (age 99).
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to cwillie
Report

I used to work for a dentist. Of course, he'd do what his patients wanted, but he'd weigh in on options, too.

A 96 yo person whose teeth are not bothering her? Don't start with the root canals and crowns. I'd do the patch and fix route.

Um, your first dentist is just kind of scamming you. If her teeth are not bothering her--don't start. Go to your dentist and let mom be.

No dentist should "threaten" you like that. Ridiculous.

If you were 96, would you want to sit through multiple sessions at the dentist's?

Money aside, I'd definitely go the less invasive route. Go to lunch instead.

BTW, my daddy had Parkinson's and sitting in a dental chair was beyond excruciating for him, I don't know why, but he hated it.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Midkid58
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter